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COSWA Corner

Rita Wright

This year the Committee on the Status of Women in Archaeology (COSWA), with the approval of the SAA Board of Directors, formed the Women in Archaeology Interest Group. The goals of COSWA and the Interest Group overlap but the Interest Group does not replace COSWA and its activities. The Interest Group was organized to encourage broader support and participation than is possible through COSWA. Membership in the Interest Group is voluntary, whereas COSWA (a committee of 10) members are appointed by the SAA Board of Directors.

The Women in Archaeology Interest Group will function as a network for SAA members interested in a broad range of professional, research, and scholarly issues of concern to women archaeologists. Its objectives will include (1) fostering the involvement of women in all activities promoted by SAA; (2) improving contacts between junior and senior scholars and augmenting COSWA mentoring activities of female graduate students and other women professionals; (3) providing a broader forum for the discussion of issues of interest to COSWA, women in archaeology, and other archaeologists. Issues to be addressed will be the result of initiatives and interest from the Women in Archaeology Interest Group members.

To meet these objectives, the Women in Archaeology Interest Group will support a number of activities. To promote the active participation of women in the archaeological community, it will recruit women to serve on SAA committees, propose symposia for professional meetings, and generally support the active involvement of women in all facets of the archaeological profession. To augment COSWA's efforts to encourage and facilitate contact among women archaeologists, the Interest Group will maintain a database containing names and contact information for its membership, with a specific emphasis on areas of interest, to facilitate contacts among members with similar needs and expertise. A newsletter will be issued twice a year and the group will develop a web site linked to the SAA home page.

We invite all those interested in joining the Interest Group to do so. There will be a place to sign-up for the group on your SAA membership renewal form. A small fee will be charged to carry out the group's activities.

Contacts for the Women in Archaeology Interest Group during 1998-1999 are its coordinators, Cathy Costin (CSU, Northridge) and Mary Ann Levine (Franklin and Marshall College).

COSWA welcomes suggestions and discussions with SAA members. We also invite anyone interested in becoming a member of COSWA to contact Rita Wright, (Chair), New York University, Department of Anthropology, New York 10003, email rita.wright@nyu.edu. Your name will be considered by the SAA Executive Committee when openings occur. There will be a detailed description of COSWA in the next SAA Bulletin.

Current COSWA committee members are as follows: Elisabeth Bacus (Institute of Archaeology, London), Cathy Costin (CSU, Northridge), Lisa Frink (University of Wisconsin, Madison), Margie Green (Archaeological Consulting Services, Ltd.), Johna Hutira (Northland Research, Inc.), Mary Ann Levine (Franklin and Marshall College); Barbara Roth (Oregon State University), Johnna Thackston (Avon Park Air Force Range), Pamela Willoughby (University of Alberta), and Rita Wright, chair (New York University).

Finally, our thanks to Kate Spielmann, past chair of COSWA from 1995-1998, for her excellent leadership and efforts on our behalf.

Rita Wright is chair of COSWA and associate professor of anthropology at New York University.

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